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Midsize Sedans Comparison Thread



  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Diesels are and have been huge in Europe for years, and VW does make a darn good diesel motor. If it had been available in the Passat in 2000, I would have bought one (which means I might well still be driving it today); instead I got the miserable 1.8T! :lemon:
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    The Sonata GLS V6 looks like a bargain if they can keep the MSRP below 21K. The new Sonata could really give the Camry and Accord a run for their money.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The Sonata GLS V6 has an MSRP of $21,495 including destination charge. As a comparison point, a Camry LE 4 cylinder having most of the features of the Sonata, except three biggies- the V6 engine, the stability control, and the 16 inch alloys.... stickers for $21,501 (thats a Camry LE 4 cylinder+floormats+side curtain airbags+5A, a very common set-up here in Toyota's greater NY region).

  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Hundai's have come a long way, but MSRP & features are only half the story- unless one drives their car into the ground (many years & miles), you still take a bath on the resale value. Not because they are bad cars, but the perception still exists, especially at the auction houses. Check any used car listings for 4 yr. old Hundai's, they drop like a rocket.
    Time may change that perception, but right now for the average buyer thats trades every 3-4 years, Hundai is not a serious contender all things considered.
  • spinzerospinzero Posts: 91
    True. But if Hyundai earns a good perception, do you think they will still offer their cars for thousands less than the competitors? They will have no reason to.

    I don't think Hyundai was such a bargain until few years ago, you pretty much got what you paid for. And if everything works out for Hyundai, then they'll become just like Honda/Toyota and again you'll get what you pay for.

    As their quality improves and yet their reputation lags behind, that's when you get a bargain. True, resale will still suffer, but like you said yourself if you keep your car for 6~7 years, the difference won't be that huge anyway. Therefore I think Hyundai will offer a great chance to beat the market for informed shoppers for at least few more years.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    would be today if they had never shipped the Excel to these shores ?
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Hyuandai also has 10/100K powertrain warranty unlike the competition. I look at resale value like this; you buy a car that suits your needs and not what the resale value is 4-5 years down the road. Remember, Honda and Toyotas higher resale value is somewhat negated by their higher MSRP to begin with. So I think if you compare Hyuandai's lower MSRP to Toy/Hondas higher resale value I think you break about even, don't you? And, if you keep the car longer than 5 years ( i typically keep my cars for at least 8) the difference in resale value would be even less of a factor. If people's perception of Hyuandai steadily improves as their quality improves resale value should go up also.
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    The problem with the Hyundai Sonata, IMO, is safety. If someone creams your Sonata, you're toast. You'll have a much better chance of walking away if you're in a Passat, Accord, or new Camry or Jetta.

    I base that on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a non-profit whose crash tests are considered the most accurate around. They give four rankings for crash tests: Poor, Marginal, Acceptable, and Good. The Camry, Accord, and Passat are all "Good' in both front and side collisions; the Sonata is merely "Acceptable" for front collisions and is "Poor" for side collisions. (The Camry, btw, has improved- it wasn't so good from the side until 2004, according to the Institute--then Toyota beefed it up.) You can see much of this for yourself at:

    Then there are the features. According to a lot of researchers, two safety features make a big difference: head-curtain airbags (which reduce fatalities and serious injuries by 45%) and electronic skid control (studies not only by VW and Toyota but by the independent National Advanced Driving Simulator found that this reduces the likelihood of your getting into an accident by more than 30%). These features are standard on the Passat and new Jetta; they are available as options on the Camry and Corolla. Accord offers the head-curtain bags, and will make stability control standard starting in 2006. But the Hyundai? Neither is available at any level so far.

    As for real-world performance, the latest study is only through 2002. The VW Passat was way out ahead back then:

    But since then, the Accord has had a major redesign that improved its crashworthiness greatly, and the Camry has improved a lot too. Hyundai - as far as I know, no progress yet.

    How important is safety is to you? --that's a personal choice. But if safety does matter to you, the Sonata has a problem. I realize that a redesign is coming next year and I wouldn't be surprised if it's improved in the safety department. But not yet.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    How important is safety is to you? --that's a personal choice. But if safety does matter to you, the Sonata has a problem. I realize that a redesign is coming next year and I wouldn't be surprised if it's improved in the safety department. But not yet.

    The 2006 Hyundai Sonata is coming next month, not next year and it will offer stability control as well as six airbags standard. It should do better than the current model in the IIHS tests. I'm sure Honda and Toyota will follow Hyundai's lead by making these safety features standard on the Accord & Camry.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Honda has already announced that side bags and curtains and ABS will be standards across all models in the U.S. by the end of 2006, but did not include ESC in that list. The Accord has standard SABs and SACs (and ABS) now.
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    ..and informed, thanks. Good news about the the '06 Sonata (news to me, that is); as for the Accord, will ESC be an option?

    I actually got a Passat in '03 instead of the then-new Accord because I wanted skid-control and head-airbags; it came down to Passat vs. Camry and I was drawn to the Passat - preferred its handling and seats. (So far, at 30K miles, it's held up fine.) Next time (hopefully a long way off) who knows. I'll for sure check out the Sonata.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    yep, the new Sonata should be at dealers soon.

    I've read that VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) will be available for the MY2006 Accord (at least for the EX). A few other features are possible such as LED taillights according to some unconfirmed reports along with a refreshed front/rear.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    60s yes - 70s no. the German Opel, Toyota, Honda, Datsun (Nissan) were by about '74 or '75 already producing cars superior to what F/GM/C was doing. Something that 'Detroit' has never recovered from.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,983
    Wow... that car looks like an Accord from the back. Might look a little better than the Accord. The front is a little Lexus IS300. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person. I corss shopped the Sonata when I was in the market in 03. The car was quite a deal, but I just liked it alot more from a distance than up close. The test drive left me cold even with a V6 model. I ended up with an Altima 2.5 S.
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    This thread has got me interested in the 2006 Sonata redesign. Which brings up an eternal question: should one buy the first model year of any car? Or wait until it's had a few cycles to work out the bugs?

    True, Hyundai has the best warranty I know of. Maybe that takes care of this concern. Or not. What do you think?
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Posts: 804
    FWIW, I bought a new 2005 Hyundai Tucson (a 1st year model) back in November and I have not had a lick of problems with it. While there are always going to be some concerns with any first year model, the problem is not anywhere near as bad as it used to be 10-20 years or more ago. I also owned a 2001 PT Cruiser (another 1st year model purchase) and again, no problems to speak of. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I bought one of the first '01 Elantras, a redesign, to hit the U.S. in 2000. I've had good luck with it, no major problems. But an added element for the Sonata is that it's being made in a brand-new factory, by people who have never made a car before (at least most of them). Hyundai has reportedly gone to great lengths to ensure the quality of this car, but a new car from a new factory does give something to consider. The engines on the Sonata are new also. Note that the 4-cylinder cars are being shipped from Korea, where they have been making the new Sonata since last fall.

    In my life I've bought four cars in the first year of their design. The others were two Toyotas and a Honda, all in the 80s. I had few problems with any of them, including the Elantra. All that being said, I don't know if I would be brave enough to be the first one on my block with a '06 Sonata, especially the V6.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Hyundai has certainly made some serious strides in quality as of late...

    I am sure the Sonata will be fine throughout its first model year
  • spinzerospinzero Posts: 91
    I read somewhere that 4-cylinder versions will still be made in Korea, while V6 versions will be built in the new Alabama plant.

    Assuming this is the case, I would wait for a while for V6 versions until the new crew gets used to the new factory, and for I4's I would just get one right away. It's been on sale in korea for over 6 months now.

    Although I have to say at least in terms of MSRP, V6 gives you a way better deal compared to Camry and Accord.
  • ray hray h Posts: 120
    is, at best, merely a rough indicator of projected injury severity. In the real world, vehicle collisions are anything but controlled. (Once a big SUV tangles with an Accord, Altima, Camry, or Sonata, it's anyone's guess which car's occupants are maimed worse (or killed) once the last metallic tinkle has faded into silence. Since the insurance industry sponsors these tests in whole or part, guess who's really benefitting from the results - and don't say, "the car occupants". (Hint: it's a clever way for the insurance companies' underwriters to jack up premiums under the guise of standardized psuedo-protocols. Obviously, regardless which make "wins", owners of the "losers" will keep the underwriters happier - regardless who the following year's "winners" and "losers" are.)
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    Let me try and get your second point. Far be it from me to defend the insurance industry, which has more than its share of scum (see: recent Eliot Spitzer actions); but let me play the devil's advocate, so to speak, to make sure I have this straight. If I were an insurance company, I would want my actuaries to give me, internally, the most accurate data possible about risks. The more accurate the risk estimates, the more likely I will set premiums right - not too low OR too high. Too high? Yes - a concern to insurance companies. Of course, they have an obvious incentive to not set the premiums too low - if they do they will lose money because paying out future claims will require more money than they have taken in. And of course, they have an incentive to set them as high as they can get away with. But on the other hand, they also have an incentive not to set the premiums too high - that is, so high that it creates what in microeconomics 101 is called "adverse selection" (Adverse selections means my best customers (the ones who realize taht they' have the least risk) realize they don't need my insurance enough to pay my super-high premiums, leaving me only with the worst customers (the ones with the highest risk, who know they need insurance even better than I do).
    So insurance companies have an incentive to charge the highest premium they can get away with, but they can't go TOO high or they create adverse selection. They have an incentive, in fact, to make riskier customers pay mroe and less-risky ones pay less.
    OK - so, hopefully what I've said so far is no big deal - surely, in-house, the insurance comapnies want the most accurate data they can get on the risks of different models (as well as on the risks of different drivesr, which they get from age, gender, tickets, accidents, etc.).
    But what you seem to be saying is that in public, it's a different matter. The IIHS is an industry front, not an industry data source - and is giving the public fudged, skewed data meant to mislead, so that the insurance companies can jack up their premiums in the most profitable ways. They might, for example, take a particularly popular car and give it a poor crash-test rating so that they can jack up the premiums. They might give better crash-test ratings to an unpopular car.
    But... if I were an editor at, or Consumer Reports, or the NY Times, or Wall Street Journal, or any other standard news publication, I'd say. Wait a second - sounds interesting, but can you prove the assertion? Do you have two independent, reliable sources? Evidence that for each increase in one car's crash-test scores there's an equal and opposite decrease in some other model's scores so that it all comes out even each year? Or whatever - something other than hints? In short, can I see the evidence that the IIHS is fudging its data?
    I'm as cynical as anyone else, so I'm not saying you're wrong. Usually, I'd love to bash insurance companies, so it's surprising I'm not doing that here. I just need to see some evidence before I concede that you're right. If you have it, lay it on me - I'm very, very interested.
    (As for crash tests being not perfect proxies for real-life,, nobody has ever disputed that, but this is another issue and we'll get into that another time. Let me focus now on the fudged-data implication.) Thanks for anything you can tell me.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The bottom line is that in part because of crash tests and continual enhancements in safety equipment, the total number of vehicle related fatalities has remained fairly constant in this country, around 43,000 per year for the last several. This, despite that EACH new year sees more and more vehicle registrations, and the mileage that people drive has increased steadily for the past two decades since the oil crisis. THAT is a big accomplishment, IMO, and theres no way you could convince me of its existence, was there not crash testing.

  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    There is no denying the Sonata is a great vehicle. But it wont be a classleader, it still needs to build its reputation.

    "the sonata was found to be the new benchmark in my books"
    What about the Sonata sets it apart from Accord and Camry (besides the price)?
    The Accord was considered a benchmark for this generation because it came with features never seen before in a mid-size sedan (dual-zone climate control, 240 hp) What also put it ahead is how a 240hp engine can have good fuel economy (it literally left editors marvelling at its brilliance). I know the Sonata has a great price and is feature packed BUT i dont see how its an industry benchmark (what more does the Sonata offer?).

    "The camry and accord just aren't as sophisticated and classy currently compared to the sonata"
    I dont see how the Sonata is more sophisticated? The Accord produces 240hp and is near the top in fuel economy. If the Sonata is suppositly more sophisticated it should have better fuel economy (imo) The Sonata still doesn't match the Accord and Camry when it comes to overall refinement.
  • annekannek Posts: 12
    Can I ask how you know that Honda will make vehicle stability control standard on 06 accords? Will it include the 4 cylinder as well as the 6 cylinder? Please advise. I am debating on buying an 05 Accord at a good price ($400 less than invoice in my area) or waiting for the 06 Accord with vehicle stability control. I can't find any confirmation that the 06 Accords will have that feature though, especially the 4 cylinders? I don't want to pay the extra gas money for the 6 cylinder.
  • joonjoon Posts: 121
    The changes to the 06' model are closely guarded by Honda. Nobody really knows for sure which changes, including stability control for the 4cyl. Honda will make. All the changes posted here and in other forums are just educated (some not so educated) guesses. If I were you, I wouldn't wait for something that may or may not happen, especially as prices are currently so low. Just my opinion.

    By the way, I don't know where you're located, but in some areas (CA, NJ, etc.) 05 Accords are selling for up to $1,800 under invoice. So, you may be able to do better than your current $400 below invoice depending on the area. If you haven't done it yet I would recommend you check for prices in your area (zip code), and if prices are not low enough try some major cities that are relatively close to you. This may save you hundreds of dollars.

    Good luck.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    Most of the changes posted here for the 06 Accord are educated guesses (but some are based on a "spyshot" which may have been posted by Honda to stir interest).These "educated" guesses are based on what the competition currently offers or in the case of Toyota with its upcoming 07 Camry, will offer in the next 8-12 months. Honda will not reveal most of the changes until they announce it officially to protect 05 Accord sales (btw, it doesn't seem to be helping much since Accord sales are down 23.7% for the month of May compared to last year).

    If you're comfortable with the current styling of the Accord and you don't care about VSA (which will probably be standard on most mid-size family sedans in next 2-3 years, Hyundai just raised the bar by making it standard on all 06 Sonatas) and a few other new features, then buy the 05. The deals right now are great, especially in states like CA & NJ. We're waiting for the 06. We also considered waiting for the 07 Camry (coming in about 8-10 months), but we don't want to wait that long, hoping Toyota improved the steering/handling.
  • joonjoon Posts: 121
    I completely agree with you. However, chances are pretty good that people won't be able to get their 06' Accords at the deep discounted prices they are able to get on the 05's today. So, the decision is whether to wait for a few months until the 06' hits the showroom with some or all of the changes mentioned on this and other forums and pay several hundreds more for it, or get the 05' now at these deep discounted prices. That's the thought process I (and presumably many others) went through. My decision was to buy now. But, I'm sure many other just as informed people have decided to wait for the 06' model. That's also perfectly reasonable, assuming people are willing to pay the likely higher prices.

    Good luck. :)
  • annekannek Posts: 12
    Thanks for your reply. I didn't know they were going for that much under invoice ($1800). I'm in Missouri.

    I found an 03 camry in mint condition with all the airbag safety features I want.
    Can anyone advise on this? the seller is about $50 bucks above blue book and $100 less than Edmunds true market value price. I've heard the best deals or on cars 2 or 3 years old. However, with hondas selling below invoice, I don't know if that makes up for the typical depreciation one would face when first driving a new car off the lot. (I've always heard it's best to buy a car 2 or 3 years old with low miles if you can find one0.

    So, does it make more sense to get a price below invoice on a new car or to pay true market value price for private party seller price on a used one? The car is in excellent shape. The owner was very meticulous with it. I think that's why he's being such a stickler on the price.

    In other words, does the fact that dealers are selling the 05 accords below invoice make up for typical new car depreciation? how do I figure that out? is there a formula?
  • annekannek Posts: 12
    Is anyone familiar with this? The bank uses "black book" to determine value of cars. Can most people get the seller to this price? I"ve been unable to do so. He wants blue book price.
This discussion has been closed.